A recent post by Vanessa Fox at Google Webmaster Central (using the site: command), explains the changes being undertaken by Google to make their site command operator more useful to webmasters.
The “site:” command is a useful tool for searching through a particular website.
Eg. To find what content we have about “Google Inclusion” simply enter the following in the Google search box:
site:www.ineedhits.com “google inclusion”
and voila – you get a listing of all web pages in the ineedhits website about “Google Inclusion” as indexed by Google.
So what have they updated:
Traditionally webmasters have used the command to determine how many of a website’s pages are indexed by Google. However, Google usually only shows a subsection of the pages, removing what it deemed to be duplicate or irrelevant pages.
In a move, probably initiated by Danny Sullivan’s post about the lack of pages listed for SEW, Google have recognized that webmasters probably want to see all their listings including pages in sub-domains (i.e. http://sub.yourdomain.com), not a subsection as determined by Google.
To address the subdomain issue, Google recommends dropping the “www” in the site command. Eg. “site:ineedhits.com” rather than “site:www.ineedhits.com”.
As the enhancement has no impact on search rankings, Google suggests the changes will be released the next time they push out a new executable for handling the site: command in the coming weeks.